Sediment sentiment

January 21, 2013 

Two building projects, both single-family housing, are currently under way across from each other on Palisades Parkway. One is Austin Creek, which is 90 acres and will have 214 lots built by Standard Pacific – zoning is R3. The other is being built by Toll Brothers and will be 49.5 acres with 106 lots. It has 6 acres of tree save and the zoning is MX3. Both of these projects drain into Studman Branch, which goes directly into Boyd’s Cove and eventually into Lake Wylie. Impacts to the water are probably significant, depending on the amount and type of rainfall we have during the grading phase. Each project can only put 20 acres at a time into housing, but all streets go in at the beginning. With two at the same time, there will be 40 acres going into housing at once. By the time clearing is done for streets, house lots, etc., there will be little ungraded ground.

It is difficult to understand why these builders would ignore the inherent amenity of the wooded rolling land and the possibilities such sites would offer, when they could build cheaper and market as well on land much flatter and less vegetated. From the environmental and land steward point of view, it is not the density of the community, though this affects the traffic added to Highway 49 - it is the clearing. As many residences could be put in a smaller space with much more of the woods saved and used for trails, picnic sites, etc. Standard Pacific did agree to updated drainage protection rules when they could have gotten by with ones from previous years, but it is hoped both builders will quickly replant both on and off the lots and take the utmost care to protect what they now control. Sometimes the world you leave behind dims the profit margin and job creation when one looks back at accomplishment.

LINDA McCAW, Charlotte

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